Hartford HealthCare doctor: Students anxious about school should use mindfulness techniques

Going back to school can be a stressful and anxious time for students, but a local psychologist has some helpful tips.
"I have a lot of patients who are getting concerned about their kids going to college," said Dr. Valeria Martinez-Kaigi, a clinical psychologist with St. Vincent's Medical Center.
Martinez-Kaigi says this is the time of year when parents should do a lay of the land about what's going on with their kids.
"Just validate their kids' concerns and then provide compassion and support about their concerns," said Martinez-Kaigi.
Martinez-Kaigi says there are some mindfulness techniques that students at most ages can use.
"One is called a body scan. It could be anywhere from two minutes to 20 minutes where they check in with themselves and start from the top of the head and work their way down the body all the way to the toes and just be in the moment, check in with themselves, and it helps kind of regulate their whole nervous system," said Martinez-Kaigi.
She says the other is deep breathing exercises that can help kids focus and reset some of the nervous system.
Martinez-Kaigi says since COVID, it's been especially important for kids to be back at school.
"Kids do better when they're socializing," said Martinez-Kaigi.
Doctors say if you're looking for more information on this, UCLA has its own mindful app that you can download. There's also Mindful.org.
Doctors say if parents feel stressed out and anxious, their kids will feel it too.